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Pet Halloween Costume Safety

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Shark Week Chihuahua !

October has arrived, and children (as well as adults) are putting the last minute touches on their Halloween costumes, or in some cases still trying to decide what they’re going to dress up as.

Finding an adorable or spooky costume for a pet can also be a fun and festive way to celebrate this beloved holiday, but not all costumes, or pets, are created equal. Before you shell out the big bucks for that designer mermaid costume for your St. Bernard, make sure to keep our pet Halloween costume safety tips in mind.

Pet Costumes Should Not…

  • Be restrictive – Your pet’s costume should not restrict his or her breathing, vision, hearing, vocalizations, or movement in any way.
  • Have small or dangling parts – Any part that can be chewed off and swallowed poses a potential risk of choking or intestinal obstruction.
  • Be heavy – A heavy costume could not only be exhausting for your pet but could cause overheating. Watch for signs that your pet may be becoming too tired such as excessive panting, slowing down, or becoming unwilling to walk or move.


Pet Costumes Should…

  • Fit properly – Make sure your pet’s costume is not too loose or too tight. You should be able to get two or three fingers between your pet and any fabric or tie that goes around your pet, especially around the neck. Ill-fitting outfits can become twisted on your pet or on an object, posing a risk of injury.
  • Be highly visible – If you plan to take your pet along trick-or-treating, make sure his or her costume can easily be seen by drivers. Add reflective tape or strips to the costume if necessary.
  • Allow room for collar and leash – Pets should be wearing a collar with current ID tags at all times, and a leash is a must if you will be leaving the house at any point on Halloween. If you haven’t had your pet microchipped yet, consider doing so before Halloween to increase the chances your pet will be returned to you if he or she becomes lost.

Keep Pet Halloween Costume At The Top Of Your List

Some pets simply can’t tolerate wearing a costume of any kind. Your pet is not a candidate for a Halloween costume if he or she is exhibiting any of the following behaviors:

  • Eyes rolling back
  • Flattened ears
  • Growling or whining
  • Biting or scratching at part of the costume
  • Hiding
  • Refusal to move


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Westlake Animal Hospital

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3930 Bee Cave Rd. Austin, TX 78746

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